It is vital to have a plan for disasters such as hurricanes to avoid added stress on a family, especially during pregnancy. These tips should come in handy in creating a family communications plan so mom, dad and any other family members involved know what to do as a team before, during and after a hurricane or in an evacuation.The following suggestions will serve as guidelines to help you prepare for a hurricane or other disaster:
- Keep a list of numbers that are important including your health care provider, case manager and hospital and keep a copy of you and your baby’s medical records and your baby’s immunization records.
- If you are breastfeeding your baby, continue to do so. Babies have an increased need during emergency situations for comfort provided by breastfeeding and it can also provide stress relief for mom. It is the best recommendation during hurricanes as you do not need refrigeration or clean bottles. If you are feeding your baby formula, use ready-to-feed formula if possible. Clean water may not be available for mixing formula or washing bottles.
If you are concerned about the health of you or your baby, contact your health care provider or emergency room immediately.
After the hurricane blows over, there are still many precautions to take. Do not bring any babies or children into a home that has been evacuated from until it has been checked for gas leaks, electrical system damage and sewage and water line damage.
FloridaDisaster.org – Florida Division of Emergency Management
National Weather Service– Track weather forecasts and threats of hurricanes
Gas Buddy – Find local stations with gas
Traffic Updates/ Waze – Check road status
Zello Walkie-Talkie – Free push-to-talk app to communicate with low levels of connectivity
Florida Power and Light Home Page – Information about power outages
Florida Power and Light Maps – Power outage maps
Federal CMS Emergency Preparedness Information
Pregnancy & Family Support Resources:
Natural Disaster Safety for Expecting and New Parents- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Emergency Preparedness: Hurricanes, Floods, and Pregnancy- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food Safety for Infants After a Natural Disaster– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Hurricane Tips: Pregnant Women- Florida Department of Health
Hurricane Information for Expectant Mothers- HCA Florida Healthcare
Disaster Kit Preparedness- March of Dimes